MOSCOW (MRC) -- Korean businesses are exploring new investment opportunities in Vietnam, seeing huge potential in the rapidly growing Southeast Asian country which last year emerged as Korea's third-largest trade partner following China and the U.S., said Koreatimes.
The pivot is aimed at reducing Korea's economic reliance on China, where Korean businesses face uncertainties due to the rivalry between China and the U.S. over supply chains and other issues.
The increasing interest in Vietnam has been reflected in visits to the country by more than 200 Korean business leaders, including the chiefs of Korea's top four conglomerates, who are accompanying President Yoon Suk Yeol's state visit to the Southeast Asian country as an economic delegation.
Industry officials expect the heads of the conglomerates ? Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun, and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo ? to inspect facilities there and announce new investment opportunities.
For Lee Jae-yong, Vietnam has become a regular business destination due to Samsung Electronics producing nearly half of its Galaxy smartphones in factories there. Korea's significance there is further emphasized as the Galaxy smartphone contributes to about one-fifth of Vietnam's total exports.
We remind, SK Group has also been investing heavily in Vietnam, recognizing its growth potential. It established SK Southeast Asia Investment Corp. in 2018 and has invested in promising local companies, including the purchase of a 9.5 percent stake for USD470 million in Masan Group, Vietnam's leading food and beverage and distribution company and also investing USD1 billion in Vingroup.